DETROIT - The trial date for a Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner will be Oct. 4.
It's been 14 months since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was accused of trying to ignite an explosive in his underwear on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, with nearly 300 people aboard.
Abdulmutallab is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiring with others to kill. U.S investigators believe he received training and instructions from al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, beginning in August 2009.
Law enforcement officials believe Abdulmutallab tried to ignite a two-part concoction of the highly explosive PETN and possibly a glycol-based liquid explosive that was hidden in his underwear. It set off popping sounds, smoke and some fire, but it didn't detonate. Passengers and crew rushed to subdue Abdulmutallab and extinguish the flames.
Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds set the trial date for Abdulmutallab during a Tuesday hearing.
He had asked to skip the hearing, but Edmunds said he must appear as long as he's acting as his own lawyer.
Despite Edmunds spending nearly 15 minutes trying to convince Abdulmutallab to accept the court attorney -- Anthony Chambers -- who is informally advising him on a full-time basis, the 24-year-old said he wanted to continue representing himself.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
Wearing a white shirt and orange pants, Abdulmutallab asked that he be allowed to see a confidential government case file of statements and other evidence to show Chambers.
Edmunds told Abdulmutallab that others would then seek disclosure, which would not help his defense.
"For now, it's a better option for me to review by myself. If something changes, I'll let you know," Abdulmutallab then told the judge.
She said he would be given the file next week.
Chambers said he's on good terms with Abdulmutallab and is not sure why he won't accept his counsel.
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Abdulmutallab is being housed in a federal prison in Milan, Mich.
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